9 Must-See Exhibitions In London This Month: November 2021

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 15 months ago

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9 Must-See Exhibitions In London This Month: November 2021

We look ahead to November's must-see shows and bring you our pick of the bunch.

1.  The Hogarths of Europe

Hogarth's Marriage-A-La-Mode. Copyright The National Gallery, London.

Whether it be a drunken woman allowing her baby to fall to its death, or a man's fall from grace in 'A Rake's Progress' nobody captured 18th century British life quite like William Hogarth, whose paintings are filled with witty and biting observations. But were there equivalents of Hogarth on the continent? Tate Britain unearths some of his contemporaries from Paris, Amsterdam and Venice so we can compare how he sized up against his European counterparts.

Hogarth and Europe at Tate Britain. 3 November 2021-20 March 2022, £18.

2. The night comes for us

Copyright Suzanne Moxhay.

As the dark winter evenings draw in, is the night something to fear or a time of discovery? Are the shadows terrifying, or is there magic in poorly-lit rooms? This small exhibition brings together four artists who draw inspiration from the night, including Suzanne Moxhay's moths dancing in a candle flame and Carolein Smit's ceramic sculptures of bats, and a skeleton under a blanket of stars. The night may be dark and full of terrors, but it's also home to some magical moments.

Nyctophilia at James Freeman Gallery. 4-27 November 2021, free.

3. Powerful portrait photos

Copyright David Prichard

With the National Portrait Gallery closed for refurbishment, this year's annual Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize has a new South Kensington home at Cromwell Place. Depicting people lost in thought or at their most vulnerable, this year's show includes residents from Fukushima who still remain exiled from their homes, and the trauma suffered by indigenous women in Australia.

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize at Cromwell Place. 10 November 2021- 2 January 2022, £8.

4. Ancient Peru

A gold llama. © 2021 The Trustees of the British Museum

Think Peruvian history and most people think of the Incas. However, they classify as relatively recent in the history of the area, as many civilisations preceded them by thousands of years. The British Museum uses over 120 items, including a 2,500-year-old  golden headdress and a striking ceremonial drum, to shine a light on Peru's people, how they survived in the difficult high altitude Andean environment, and their fascinating cultures.

Peru: A Journey in Time at The British Museum. 11 November 2021-20 February 2022, £15.

5. Lush landscapes

A tree tunnel in Halnaker, West Sussex. Copyright. Mara Leite.

Everybody loves a stunning sweeping landscape, whether it's fresh fallen snow across a field or the sun setting over some rolling hills. Some of the UK's most spectacular landscapes have been snapped by hugely talented photographers and the winners and shortlisted works are all on display in London Bridge station, giving us something to gawk at in awe while waiting for our train.

Landscape Photographer of the Year at London Bridge station. 15 November 2021-9 January 2022, free.

6. Ancient Greek wisdom

A gold headdress. Copyright Benaki Museum, Athens.

Modern science, mathematics and philosophy all owe a lot to the Ancient Greeks. They believed in challenging accepted norms and putting forward bold new ideas to be debated. Using sculpture, musical instruments and artefacts, Science Museum transports us back thousands of years to look at Ancient Greek civilisations and the advancement in arts and science that came about in that era.

Ancient Greeks: Science and Wisdom at Science Museum. 17 November 2021-5 June 2022, free.

7. The Courtauld Gallery is back

Photo: Benedict Johnson.

It's been closed for over three years for a major refurbishment, and now one of London's most beloved art galleries is opening its doors once again. It's a chance to re-visit one of the most impressive collections of Impressionist artworks, now in new galleries, as well as paintings from the 18th century and new rooms dedicated to 20th century art and the locally based Bloomsbury Group.

Courtauld Gallery re-opening. 19 November onwards, £9.

8. Eggs-cited

The intricately detailed Moscow Kremlin egg. Copyright the Moscow Kremlin Museums.

V&A shows us that there's a whole lot more to the history and brand of Fabergé than just its famous eggs — though plenty of the glittering orbs do appear. Charting the history of Carl Fabergé and using over 200 objects, this blockbuster show tells the story of how the Russian brand became the epitome of elegance and craftmanship, and its journey to London where it established an outpost on New Bond Street. There's plenty of eggs-spectation for this eggs-citing show... we'll stop now.

Fabergé in London: Romance to Revolution at V&A. 20 November 2021-8 May 2022, £18.

9. German Renaissance man

Dürer's painting of a lion. © Photo Scala, Florence/bpk, Bildagentur für Kunst, Kultur und Geschichte, Berlin / photo: Christoph Irrgang

German painter Albrecht Dürer's life is charted through his art in a show at The National Gallery,  which includes over 100 of his paintings, prints and drawings. It shows how his life and works as a Renaissance-era painter evolved as he travelled, drawing inspiration from fellow artists in both Northern and Southern Europe to develop his technique and style.

The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Dürer's journey at The National Gallery. 20 November 2021-27 February 2022, £20.

Short run events and art fairs

A previous edition of Roy's Art Fair.

Whether it's a stunning dining table or a suit of armour, Olympia Winter Art & Antiques Fair (2-7 November, £21) has you covered with international specialist dealers descending on London to sell you their wares.

If contemporary art fairs float your boat, head down to Roy's Art Fair at Oxo Bargehouse (25-28 November, free) to meet and buy from some excellent artists. We've picked up several affordable pieces at the last fair so it's got our seal of approval.

For those who want to venture inside the artist's studio, south-west London is where it's at, with two open studios where you can chat to artists in their creative space and potentially buy some works. Wimbledon Art Fair (18-21 November, free) and Delta House Open Studios (13-14 & 20-21 November, free) are across the road from one another so there are more than 150 artists across the two venues.

Last Updated 02 November 2021

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